Kirkland defeats Molina by 10th round disqualification
By Jim Dower: James Kirkland dodged a bullet tonight in getting pretty much dominated most of the fight by Carlos Molina but then knocking him down in the 10th round and winning by a disqualification when Molina’s corner stepping into the ring thinking the round was over at the Reliant Arena in Houston, Texas.
Had they stayed out of the ring, Molina would have won the fight. Molina was up on the cards by the scores of 88-83 and 87-84, while the third judge had it 86-85 for Kirkland.
It does without saying that Kirkland was badly exposed in this fight by Molina. Kirkland looked over-muscled and had no hand speed or ability to maneuver around Molina to land shots. He looked like a one-trick pony in there. He’s never been particularly fast but Kirkland looked slower than usual last Saturday night.
Molina took the fight to Kirkland in the first two rounds, hitting him with snapping jabs, and hard combinations. Kirkland was unable to get his shots off with Molina collapsing in on him into a clinch each time. You’d think that Kirkland would have learned how to fight on the inside with someone grabbing him the way that Molina was doing, but Kirkland looked clueless in there. The best that Kirkland could come up with was some rabbit punches in the clinch.
Molina continued his domination in rounds three through five with his smothering attack. Molina was doing basically all the landing while Kirkland missed over and over again with big shots while looking painfully slow.
The judges had some crazy scores but from what I saw, Kirkland didn’t one round in the first six rounds. He looked completely inept. The lack of hand speed, maneuverability and overall boxing skills kept Kirkland from being able to take control of the fight.
Molina teed off on Kirkland in rounds six through nine, out-landing him three to one and continue to smother him expertly. Late in the 9th, however, Molina started showing signs of fatigue. He was holding more than he had been and Kirkland seemed to get energy from this.
In the 10th, Kirkland landed some nice shots against a completely exhausted and stumbling Molina. Finally, Molina stumbled off of the ropes and was pushed down by Kirkland. The referee thought it was a legitimate knockdown, though, and began the 10 count and continued the count even after Molina had gotten to his feet. In the meantime, the clock ran out to end the round but the referee continued to count. One of Molina’s corner people then stepped into the ring and was in the process of getting ready to put Molina’s stool down. However, the referee told the person to get out of the ring and soon after ruled it a disqualification win for Kirkland based on Molina’s corner person coming into the ring while he was giving the count.
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